Since leaving a successful business career to enter the Foreign Service of the United States in 1951, The Honorable Ellsworth Bunker has rendered outstanding service to his country by giving of himself and his considerable diplomatic talents whenever called upon to do so. As a diplomatic mediator of the first rank, elder statesman of the Foreign Service, President of the American Red Cross, humanitarian and philanthropist, Ambassador Bunker has been of immeasurable assistance in his country’s unending quest for peace and freedom for all men.
In 1951, a time of strained American-Argentine relations, at the request of the President Mr. Bunker became Ambassador of Argentina. During years of continuing crisis, he subsequently served as ambassador to Italy and to India. As Consultant to the Secretary of State he was instrumental in the settlement of such problems as the Dutch-Indonesian dispute over West New Guinea and the Yemen Crisis. His negotiations as United States Ambassador to the Organization of American States during the Dominican Crisis in 1965 helped bring about the peace which resulted in a free election and the withdrawal of United States troops.
As President of the American Red Cross from 1953-56, he contributed greatly to that organization’s role as a medium of communication between the people of the United States and the Armed Forces.
Ambassador Bunker has represented the United States in Vietnam continuously since his appointment by President Johnson in 1967. He went to Saigon directly from his position as roving United States Ambassador-at-Large. His tact, understanding and firmness during these years have done much to fulfill his country’s mission in Southeast Asia.
Well-known for his warm interest in human problems, Mr. Bunker has been actively interested in civic affairs and education throughout his life. He has been an untiring supporter of numerous foundations and organizations dedicated to social research and improvement of human conditions at home, as well as of international relations and foreign policy abroad.
Ambassador Bunker is indeed unique in the breadth of his diplomatic and humanitarian service to this country. His continuing devotion to the national interest is considered to have been thoroughly in accord with the principles of the West Point motto. Accordingly, the 1970 Sylvanus Thayer Award is hereby awarded by the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy to The Honorable Ellsworth Bunker.